Wins of the Month, March 2017

March came in like a lion, and I’m pretty sure it went out like one too. Spring is here, Gooplet is one, insert comment about how quickly time passes here.

IMG_9365

  • Gooplet turned 1!
  • Made him a birthday cake.
  • We went to the zoo!
  • Started a new Sunday dinner tradition.
  • Started “Salad Fridays” (on a Tuesday), and I really hope you’re going to hear more about it here soon.
  • Took a road trip home to PA to visit my fam.
  • Sent some cards to people to mark any number of life events (mostly on time-ish).
  • Started Whole 30, and have kept on track for the most part.
  • Finally got the wheels going in terms of getting new windows (in the old part of the house).
  • Read. Every day.
  • Had two unscheduled weekends – filled with nothing but fun visits with friends and family.
  • Managed to not only enjoy brunch with Cari Faye, but get next month’s date on the calendar.

The List of Awesome

Dear readers, March 27 has arrived. It’s List of Awesome time! Below are 50 of the most awesome things I know. And below all those are links to a lot of old lists. This is always one of my favorite posts to put together.
 :

(image)

  1. Snapping a picture of your child that is adorable, and not blurry in the slightest
  2. Lemons
  3. Unseasonably warm days
  4. Podcasts, and finding new ones
  5. Getting snail mail
  6. The smell of something baking
  7. Crossing an item off a list
  8. Christmas cards
  9. Washi tape
  10. Blue and white, in just about any form
  11. Fun shapes of pasta
  12. Lazy weekend breakfasts
  13. Cheap pizza
  14. That minute you close a book and breathe deep to soak it in just a minute more
  15. When the movie lives up to the book
  16. Movie theater popcorn
  17. The Harry Potter audiobooks
  18. Endorphins
  19. A good sing-a-long in the car (alone, and at the top of your lungs)
  20. Show tunes
  21. Rest
  22. That feeling after you clean something out
  23. Birthdays
  24. Creating new rituals
  25. Hearing the right song at exactly the right time
  26. Trying a new recipe that turns out just how you want
  27. Realizing hours have passed and you didn’t feel the urge to check your phone
  28. Hanging pictures on the wall
  29. Cute notepads
  30. Hamilton
  31. People you’ve known forever
  32. Spur of the moment invitations that come at just the right time
  33. Screened in porches
  34. Happy hours on screened in porches
  35. Finding a new iced coffee you love
  36. Farmers markets
  37. Libraries
  38. Finding your tribe
  39. Sunday dinners
  40. Five minutes of peace to flip through the Serena and Lily catalog.
  41. Inbox 0
  42. Spring cleaning
  43. A good BLT
  44. Jeans that fit
  45. Paper Source
  46. The advent of baseball season
  47. A friend who does something for you out of the blue
  48. Taking a walk in the sun to get a milkshake
  49. Doing something you didn’t think you could
  50. Sidewalk chalk

2016//2015//2014//2013//2012//2011

Wins of the Month, January, 2017


This post has been sitting, finished, in my drafts folder. It’s never too late to celebrate wins. Happy end of February, here’s why January was great.

  • Snuggled so many new babies
  • Read every day
  • Ordered new books as a reward for that (see above)
  • Donated a box of books to the library
  • Sent another bag out to the thrift store.
  • Brunched with Cari Faye for the first time in too long
  • Finally got onboard the unroll.me train
  • Pulled off a couple of full grocery hauls with Gooplet in tow

I Want to Remember [a winter goopdate]

IMG_7507.JPG

I want to remember… how much you love when we roll the red kickball back and forth.  You flap your arms up and down and squeal until I send it back to you.

I want to remember… that you are always in motion.  I can’t take a picture of you that isn’t blurry.

I want to remember… you want to read all the time.  You’ll find a pile of books (we keep one in every room), pick up your favorites, and flip the pages endlessly.

I want to remember… that you have been sick for over a week.  We are all doing the best we can.  Being cooped up in the house is not great for either of us, and we’ve quickly exhaust our favorite toys most days.

I want to remember… the noises you make when your dad goes to get you in the morning.  You are so happy to see him and you babble incessantly while he changes you and gets you ready for the day.

I want to remember… the rhythm of our days.  Breakfast, coffee (oh, how the Starbucks team loves you and is so, so good to you), nap, whatever the day’s activity is, home for lunch and another nap, and playing till we start texting your dad to beg him to come home.

I want to remember… that you don’t like to be pulled apart from me.  Deep down inside, I love this so much.  In the minutiae of our daily lives, I don’t always.  Deep breaths.  You won’t always want to be attached to my right leg.  And I’ll probably miss it when you don’t.

I want to remember… that you’re learning to clap, wave and high-five.  I swear you’re trying to say “Mommy,” “Yes,” and “Again.”

I want to remember… that you love looking at photos.  We have our holiday cards up on the wall, and every time we go up and down the stairs, you have to stop to “talk” to some of our friends.

A Fresh Start Brain Dump

Who’s ready for some rambling?

Yesterday, dear readers, I told you I didn’t have any resolutions, but my brain just kept spinning and spinning when it came to the idea.  Whether or not I’ve made specific resolutions each January, I’ve always had some sort of plan in mind; something I wanted to do. And this year, when it comes to the nitty gritty, I just don’t.

front hall.:
(hello, gorgeous)

I am not going to say I should eat better (of course I should, I’m guessing a whole lot of us should), or try to put down my phone (I love my phone for books and podcasts and way too much Instagram, and I’m okay with that).  And for some reason, I can’t get into picking a word for the year.  Maybe because my life changes pretty quickly these days.

ben and birdy: Yay, It's Wednesday Cake! Cake:

(found this one via Dinner, A Love Story)

But I do have a couple of big picture items I want.  A vision?  I just rolled my eyes at myself for even typing that word.  Despite my inability to make a resolution, I still want a great year.  And with that, here are some fresh-start-for-a-new-year ideas I found online.

From Cup of Jo (who found them from Dolly Alderton):

  • Always carry a book in your bag. Trains will be delayed, post office queues will be long; you’ll be able to rattle through a book a week if you fill dead time with reading rather than scrolling through Instagram.
  • Switch from black to navy. Black is chic, but navy is soft. (Oh wait, this is how I’ve always lived my life except for like, two years in high school, when I tried really hard to be into black because it was cool.)
  • Send your best friend a bunch of flowers to celebrate her achievements, from as big as getting a promotion to as small as standing up to a difficult boss. We owe moments of excitement and surprise to our dearest and oldest friends as much as we do to our partners and lovers.

And from Kelle, at Enjoying the Small Things:

  • Clean one kitchen cabinet. If you feel inspired to keep going, that’s fine, but go for one. (I love the idea of committing to one small step.  Do more if you want, but just do a little bit.  That’s about all I can handle with someone pawing at my ankle all day.)
  • Make sure you have a desk drawer stocked with pretty stationery so you can send lots of snail mail this year. Buy new stamps. I got these pretty botanical ones for the new year, but these Wonder Woman ones are a powerful way to celebrate your woman power as you go in to the new year.
  • Visit the Valentine’s section at Target and smile.

Tracy wrote this post about getting organized for the New Year, and you have to follow her Instagram stories sharing her steps.

Becky posted a list of affirmations and while I kinda roll my eyes at that word too, a whole bunch of them lined up with how I want to live my life.  Here are the highlights (but so many that I didn’t post are how I want my family life to play out over the years, so click over and read them all if you love a bulleted list as much as I do.):

  • I honor my role as a mother and my children know and feel this whole-heartedly. They never have to wonder if they’re more important than work / friends / hobbies / etc.
  • I recognize that traditions are grounding and special and significant in our lives and I do my part to carry out and create traditions in our family.
  • I support my husband and children in the hobbies and interests they pursue because I know what my own hobbies and interests mean to me.
  • I am a loyal friend who avoids gossip. I take a sincere interest in others and find value in learning from different people — regardless of how well or how little I know them.
  • Our home is a place of refuge, peace, joy, comfort, and happy memories — for the five of us and also for our guests.
  • When it comes to material things, we only have things that we USE or that we LOVE. Clutter is a thing of the past. In our home we have pictures and decor that remind us of what’s important.

From Emily Henderson:

Survive while smiling – So easy. Our christmas “vacation” was riddled with small things that went wrong (car broken into, basement flooded, HFMD, sick toddlers, SO MANY DROPS OF WATER FROM THE SKY THAT WE AREN’T USED TO IN LA, etc.). But we survived and really, really tried to stay positive (thank God for grandparents). I’m pretty good at keeping things in perspective, but it’s always nice to remember that no one has ever died of a blog failing or an instagram post being ‘unliked’. No one has ever died of being an insecure parent, watching too much reality TV (GAH TONIGHT IS THE NIGHT!!! #bachelornation), or forgetting to provide socks for their baby. In fact no parent has ever died of crawling into their toddler’s crib and cuddling with him (many mornings in a row) because he is scared and just needs his mama even though I know that when he begs for cuddling in the middle of the night and I acquiesce, that I am creating quite the (cuddle) monster. I don’t care anymore. I’ll be cognizant of my decisions, but i’ll do whatever I want to to make our kids the happiest they can be (especially during a big change like a move) and keep Brian and me in a healthy and happy marriage.

And I’m always inspired by Elise and Ali’s chat about their words to kick off the new year.  I’ve listened since their first one, three years ago.

Thursday Check In – On Birthdays

ombre.:

(via)

So I’m sitting in my Wednesday moms’ group, talking about ways we take care of ourselves, and I’m sharing what I’ve learned about Sabbath, about intentionally leaving one day free of obligations and commitments so that it can be what I want it to be instead of what it has to be (I truly think this idea is genius, and this podcast was a great listen for me).

Then another mom echoes my thoughts, and shares that for her family, that day has always been Sunday.  They go to church in the morning, and then it’s a day for family time.  She said her daughters know that if they get invited to a birthday party on a Sunday, they understand that they probably won’t be going.  That a lot of birthday parties her girls get invited to are those, “invite the whole class,” kinds of birthdays, and she feels comfortable turning those down.  I nod my head in agreement, because that makes sense to me.

And then I find this post, from one of my most favorite blogs, What Would Gwyneth Do? all about saying yes to birthdays.  Because some kids are just waiting for a classmate to say yes.  Because inviting the whole class is a display of kindness that not everyone shows.  And again, I’m nodding my head in agreement, this makes perfect sense, too.  And it sounds a lot like celebrating everything, which we know is something I’m into.

This is about the 800th reminder to me this week alone that there is no right and wrong, good and bad, black and white way to be a family.  What works for one unit doesn’t work for another.  One family has a great reason to turn down Sunday birthdays.  Another has a great reason to gratefully accept all the invitations they can.  When birthday party season hits us (preschool? kindergarten?) I don’t know where we’ll come down in terms of our RSVPs.  But I am forever grateful for the moms who share the real whys behind their choices.

The Point of it All/How to Celebrate Everything [half birthday cake]

I am six months into life with The Gooplet, and I often tell people that I feel as though I have maybe, finally, possibly stopped treading water.  I say maybe, finally, possibly, because I’m so hesitant to commit to saying the words out loud, lest everything we worked so hard the past half a year to establish be swiftly taken from us in one blow.  Because babies.

But I think, maybe, finally, possibly, we have a semblance of normal.

I was big on half birthdays in elementary school, as I imagine almost anyone with a summer birthday would be.  I lived in the golden age of elementary school, when you could still bring in cupcakes on your birthday, which meant that those of us who celebrated in June, July, or August got to spice up those boring winter months by adding our half birthdays to the slate of students celebrating the real day  January 26 was my (half) moment to be the center of attention.  And oh man, am I ever into being the center of attention.

Fast forward thirty-odd years, and here I am with a little person celebrating his very first half birthday.  There must be cake!  Half a cake, to be exact.  We’ve done this before.  We’ll do this every year!  I made the cake on his birthday, but I wasn’t paying full attention, and it didn’t turn out.  Like, sunk completely, didn’t turn out.  What would Mary Berry say?

There must be some piece of me that knew not all was lost, because I hung onto the cake, and lived life for three more days, when Jenny Rosenstrach’s latest cookbook arrived on my doorstep.  Jenny speaks my love language.  It’s family dinner.  She writes about people and food and the serious connection between the two in ways that get at the deep, mushiest parts of my soul.  That’s not an exaggeration.  Ina is aspirational,  Jenny is inspirational.  And her newest book tells us to celebrate everything.  Because babies crave routines.  Families crave rituals.  And the best ones are the ones that happen around the table.

So about a week after Gooplet’s half birthday, we celebrated his half birthday anyway.

img_5254

With the ugliest, and most disastrous half-cake ever.  But we started something.  And I hope it continues for years and years and years to come.

Thanks, Jenny.

The Summer List, 2016

I am all about lazy days, drinks on the porch, and soaking up sun.  Summer is here, and the #LittleJennieHat and I are going to live it up.  Sticking with a simple summer list again this year, but I’m giving you tons of past inspiration below…

IMG_2486.JPG

Meg: 2013//2011//2010//2009//2008

Ali: 2015//2014//2012

Elise: 2015//2014//2013//2012

Me: 2014//2013//2012//2011

And on a slightly-related note, here is Tsh’s Summer of Stories idea.  Dear Future Self, this is a keeper.

Summer reading suggestions coming soon!

The List of Awesome

IMG_0247

Dear readers, I know it’s been forever around these parts, but I’ve been gone with good reason, promise.  There’s a new little Gooplet here at La Moneda, and we’re slowly adjusting to life together.  And I’m slowly adjusting to a complete lack of sleep, and life with less than two hands at my disposal.  But there’s no better way to get back into the swing of things here than with a list of awesome, albeit about a month later than it was due.  Look for more posts around here soon, though you may be seeing them sporadically.

IMG_0528

  1. Husbands who do the dishes
  2. Rereading past Lists of Awesome
  3. A great internet link post
  4. Having an entire house that is blue and white
  5. Trying something new, and realizing you love it
  6. Recognizing extraordinary in ordinary days
  7. James Taylor and Carole King
  8. Memoirs
  9. Champagne
  10. Endorphins
  11. March Madness
  12. True happiness for good friends
  13. Emojis
  14. A good pair of sunglasses
  15. Personalized stationery
  16. Laughing so hard it hurts
  17. Windows open (sunroof, too)
  18. Cheap pizza
  19. Routines
  20. A stack of new books to read
  21. Naps
  22. Fresh flowers
  23. Walks in nice weather
  24. Friends you don’t have to clean the house for
  25. James Corden’s carpool karaoke
  26. A good lip sync battle
  27. People who know what you need more than you do
  28. Buffalo chicken dip
  29. Recipes that come together in one bowl
  30. Kimmy Schmidt
  31. Walking every day
  32. Fuzzy blankets
  33. Blue and white striped clothes
  34. 90s music
  35. Thank you notes
  36. Brownies
  37. Toes in the sand
  38. Ordering clothes online and finding out they fit
  39. Mint chocolate chip ice cream
  40. The smell of spring
  41. Screened in porches
  42. Compliments
  43. Amazon Prime
  44. Splurging on something you really wanted
  45. Summer breezes
  46. Inexpensive art prints from Etsy
  47. A fresh coat of paint
  48. Pedicures
  49. Any and all attempts to bring the 90s back
  50. The Kindle app at 2:00 a.m.

2011//2012//2013//2014//2015

Just Because

When I told you all about hosting my college friends for our second annual favorite things party, I mentioned my college friends are some of the most thoughtful people I know.  The goal of the party was to bring a favorite thing to share with each lady in attendance, but I saw housewarming gifts, baby gifts, and birthday gifts being exchanged, too.  It was so sweet.  A thoughtful gift is everything!

I made a mini resolution right then and there to make sure to send people little tokens of my affection whenever I darn well felt like it.  It’s too much fun to get a gift in the mail for little to no reason.  Here are some of my favorite things to send.

Jeni’s Ice Creams

Sugarfina Candy (more specifically, champagne bears!)

Little Acre Flowers (local to the DC area–and many thanks to SCL for introducing me)